Barcelona race to rid wages could suit Celtic in hunt for Marmol

By Euan Davidson

July 6, 2021

Barcelona need to sell or even release players, and that could end up helping Celtic.

Back in May, the Bhoys were linked to La Masia graduate Mika Marmol [Mundo Deportivo]. Marmol, predominantly a left-back, has also been catching the eye of Getafe and Mallorca. But he’s an interesting fit Celtic-wise, and it’s a route we’ve gone down before. Most notably, perhaps, with Marc Crosas in 2008 [RTÉ].

Barcelona, according to Goal, are already spending beyond their means. The likes of Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia have all ostensibly arrived at the Camp Nou. However, the club aren’t able to actually register them. Until Barca shed a significant amount of their current wage bill, new players can’t join. That’s before we even get to the contract of Lionel Messi, currently a free agent.

The Blaugrana have already jettisoned promising talents including Jean-Claire Todibo and Junior Firpo. Samuel Umtiti, Philipe Coutinho and Miralem Pjanic will be next [Goal]. But beyond the big names, savings need to be made where they can. To sign 34-year-old Messi and 33-year-old Sergio Aguero, Barcelona are mortgaging their future.

And, in the case of Mika Marmol, it’s a situation Celtic can absolutely benefit from. According to Mundo Deportivo, Marmol played for Barca’s B team “14 times as a left-back and 11 as a centre-back, on the left-handed side of the Blaugrana [defence]”. Both are positions of comparative weakness for the Bhoys.

Celtic still need defensive reinforcements; this could be easy business from Barcelona

Barcelona, again, have all their eyes on the big-name stars. After a somewhat chastening season by the club’s standards, there’s pressure on new President Joan Laporte to deliver instantly. His hands are tied, however, by an astronomical wage bill that already breaks La Liga rules [Goal].

“Aye, now about your wages, Sergio…” / (Photo by DAX Images/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Put in short; if there was ever a time to buy from them, it’s now. Marmol, however, could be seen as a cheap, homegrown replacement for Junior Firpo at left-back. At just 20, he’s served his time with Barcelona B, and could be on the cusp of making a mark. But the same could be said of other talents who are already out the door, Todibo chief amongst them.

If the money’s right, Celtic could be quids in. Talk of Marmol has cooled since late May, however, and it’s unclear whether Ange Postecoglou would fancy the left-back. But, as an attacking threat, and with excellent technical prowess from an education in Catalonia suggests that he would be.

Unless there’s a formidable resurgence from Boli Bolingoli, Celtic are still under-manned on the left of defence. Adam Montgomery has shown flashes of potential, but will that be enough to secure him a place in the squad for 21-22? Time will tell.

At the very least though, this is something Celtic really ought to consider. If they were keen before, they could secure a Barca talent for peanuts as the famous club scramble around.

READ MORE: Another promising talent leaves Celtic